As winter really begins to bite (yes, I know it’s going to be the warmest Christmas ever, but let’s not go into that), it’s time to think of people less fortunate than ourselves. Whilst many us will be sitting around a roaring fire, roasting our nuts in front of the family, there will be people who are suffering. Old people.
Old people are vulnerable to what to the rest of us are minor illnesses, like colds. A runny nose may be a minor inconvenience for most of us, but for the elderly it can be a death sentence. On a daily basis, I come across old people who don’t have enough to eat and others who turn off the heating and hot water to save a few pennies. I carry with me a selection of blankets which I hand out to the most vulnerable people in society. It’s my duty.
Some senior citizens are too ill to travel and are forced to stay at home. Some are alone and left to cope on their own, others are surrounded by servants, personal doctors and have their fuel bills paid for the state. Guess who gets the most coverage when they’re ill?
I learn today in the news – the news, honestly – that the Queen and Prince Philip of Corfu have been unable to leave home because they are suffering from colds. Now this is not pleasant for them and I am being serious when I wish them a quick recovery. It is rarely a particular medical condition that kills old people, more often some ghastly flu-like bug that kicks then down and out when they’re feeling down and out. Regardless of my lack of any feelings for the royals, except Diana’s boys, I have to admit, I don’t wish them dead. But I do wish the media, which these days acts as a propaganda arm for Theresa May’s useless and hopelessly divided government, think out of the box and realises that actually many hundreds of thousands of the Queen’s loyal subjects suffer at this time of year. For every non-story about the Queen having a cold, or Prince Philip having a bladder infection (the latter of which is almost too much information), how about one about the senior citizens who are starving and freezing to death?
There is a serious crisis in social care too which means many people have been abandoned. Many others are forced to sell their homes they paid for to fund their own care, something I doubt will happen to the current inhabitants of Buck House. I do not blame the Queen for being Queen because she didn’t exactly apply for the job and most people still love to doff their caps and bow in respect. But is she more valuable to the country as your mum and dad are to you? Should there be such a disparity in the conditions of the super rich and the poor?
If you have been untouched by the largely untold story of the crisis in social care and the abandonment of old people up and down the land, then lucky you. I think it’s right that the Queen, as a British citizen, gets the best care money can buy but I am afraid to say I can’t agree that everyone else shouldn’t.